Watson to replace Hughes for third Test

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Warwickshire, July 30 (ANI): All rounder Shane Watson will open for Australia in the third test against England that gets underway from today.

The Australian selectors have said that 20-year-old Phillip Hughes has been dropped, though an official announcement is yet to be made.

Hughes has lost his place in the national squad after just five Tests, reports the Herald Sun.

The report suggests the selectors have hit the panic button after Hughes's three innings in the first two Tests produce scores of 36, 4 and 17.

Cricket officials in NSW, Hughes's home state, were stunned by the news today.

The young opener has been hailed as Australia's new batting wonder-child after two centuries on the tour of South Africa but technical deficiencies against the short ball aimed at his body proved his undoing.

Hughes continued to look vulnerable against county team Northamptonshire last week, gloving several rising balls against a modest attack.

There is reportedly a feeling that his technical weaknesses cannot be solved in a week and he needs major rehabilitation.

NSW Cricket chief executive Dave Gilbert said he was shocked by the news.

"If it's right, I am really surprised by it,'' Gilbert said.

"It is like saying that an opponent has your number and you don't want to be sending that message to the kid," he added.

Watson has one of the best techniques in world cricket but in his last stint as an opener in first class cricket for Queensland last summer he made a string of low scores before being moved down the order.

Australia had been desperate to squeeze him into the team after he scored two half centuries against Northants and also bowled some useful overs.

With back to back Tests in Birmingham and Leeds Australia was keen to have a fifth bowling option and his nippy seamers will provide it.

Watson has played just eight Tests in seven years since he was first chosen for Australia on a Test tour of South Africa. (ANI)

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